New Yorkers now have a digital one-stop shop for navigating their neighborhood.
The city launched neighborhood.nyc Wednesday with more than 400 specific domains for places like Bay Ridge, Astoria, the East Village and other areas in the five boroughs, that provide open data info in an easy-to-use webpage.
Before, New Yorkers would have to visit the city’s open data portal or an agency website and do some detective work to find information on items like 311 complaints or street closures in their community. With neighborhod.nyc, all of that public information is available on the home page with an interactive header and map.
“A lot of people don’t know about the wonderful things the city offers. This is trying to put that lens in front of them,” said Aileen Gemma Smith, the CEO of the civic tech company Vizalytics, worked with the city on the project.
The information available on neighborhood sites includes: building permits, street closures, construction, restaurant inspections and contact information for the precincts and elected officials in the area.
Neighborhood residents and businesses can post promotions and community events and can even register third-party domains like, hypothetically, cornerbookstore.flushing.nyc.
The sites are accessible through the main hub at neighborhood.nyc and available in 13 languages.
Smith, who won the city’s Big Apps competition, said the thought behind the sites was to make information accessible and user friendly.
The city is taking that idea to another level by inviting community leaders to serve as web administrators for the site. Over the next few months, groups registered as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation, or local development corporation can register for the positions and customize the sites.
“We want all the feedback from the community that we can get,” Smith said.
She said she came up with an easy-to-use content management system that allows the administrator to prioritize alerts, change the header photo and work with the city on other changes.
“If the community leader is a senior citizen who owns a bodega, they don’t need to learn HTML,” she said.
The city hopes neighborhood.nyc can build off the successes of its .nyc domain program that celebrated its first anniversary last week. As of Tuesday, there were 86,449 registered sites for personal, business, government and nonprofit use.
Minerva Tantoco, the city’s chief technology officer, said the city domain program has been a huge success and has helped expand the city’s digital influence around the world. She hopes the neighborhood sites would add to the tech footprint.
“In their current beta form, the neighborhood sites are already an incredibly cool resource — but with New Yorkers’ participation and feedback, they have the potential to become even more valuable tools for community engagement,” she said in a statement.